The Ting Tings and Santogold @ The Wiltern on 10/14
Three preceding acts were all in enjoyable in their own right: LA-based Low v. Diamond, who were definitely worth showing up early for; Alice White, whose soulful croonings stirred the growing
cattle crowd; and indie-pop’s married twosome, Mates of State.
But after these great opening acts, we were ready for Santogold. She stepped on stage and side-swiped the 2,500+ mass of revelers with a reggae-rock, beat-infused 14-song set that left the crowd begging for more. Affixed on either side of the stage, twin dancers dressed in gold gyrated in synch like disconnected Siamese twins while the DJ had us bobbing our heads to beat after heart-pounding beat like a tricked-out car that’s way louder than street legal. Surprising and refreshing, Miss Santi performed a hard-hitting cover of The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” and there was simply nothing R&B about it as some reviews of her act would have you believe. The climax was her repetitious anthem “Unstoppable,” which was so affecting that the eclectic crowd couldn’t help but pump their fists in unison to their new call to arms. In a word…ahhhhhyeahhhh!
Next up, attractive U.K imports, The Ting Tings took the stage at 11pm and immediately dove into their kicky, colorful spectacle with "We Walk" followed by the rousing "The Great DJ."
Song-writing veteran Jules DeMartino lived out every ADD-afflicted boy's fantasy as he banged on the drums with all the force of a herd of stampeding elephants. Tiny, spunky, funky-fashioned Katie White, cavorted around the stage and sounded more cute than commanding, when she yelped 'Get your ass up in the back!' The crowd complied and danced to recognizable hits "Fruit Machine" and their album's eponymous hit "We Started Nothing."
They punctuated the performance with "Shut Up and Let Me Go." The familiar guitar riff had us wondering at first if they were covering Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out." They weren't, but no complaints here, the riff was rad in Ferdinand's song and it was rad in this one too. The snappy, choppy lyrical styling was pleasing to the ears and who can't feel her on her plea to some slimy ex-lover to 'shut up and let me go/ this hurts what I can't show/for the last time you have me in bits/ now shut up and let me go'?
Each song felt like a separate mini-production with the fruits of their Apple (hey, it works) contract evident as background screens and show production looked fantastic. Unfortunately, the night ended with a 'boooo!' from the fans and it wasn't because Halloween is right around the corner. We don't know if their 45-minute turn left them too tired for an encore but at 11:50pm sharp, they left the stage, never to return.
Isn't the party supposed to START at midnight?
-- Mindy Magaña
(Photo by Jack Plunkett/AP)